mother, mother

by Kate

I am getting a procedure called Essure sometime in the next month-or-so. It’ll seal off my fallopian tubes so I can’t have babies. I had an appointment with a nurse to talk it over a couple of weeks ago, and she asked “So you’re sure you don’t want kids?”

And I said “yes.”  But it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Every form of birth control I’ve ever been on has had a nasty side-effect, or several. Depo Provera made me lactate, which was hilarious, but also a bit worrisome. The pill is hard to remember and can be dangerous for someone who gets migraines. The Nuva Ring was great, except for the PMDD it caused every month. My IUD caused a bacterial infection and came out after three months, during sex. That hurt like a bitch. And my most recent form of baby-prevention, Implanon, caused me to gain 25 lbs. in nine months.  NOT COOL.

So I’m getting myself fixed.

But back to the question of whether I’m sure. Yes. I’m sure.  But I’m not entirely happy about it, either.

The truth is, I would love to be a mother. I would love to have a baby of my own. It’s just that I think it’s a terrible idea for me right now, and I don’t see it becoming a good idea any time soon. I have just managed to wrestle my way out of my lifelong depression, and the all-consuming sadness could come back at any time. I have medical problems that can be passed down to my children. And I haven’t met anyone who would be a good father to my hypothetical babies.  So if I want kids, I’ll adopt them, and then it’s not my fault that the little buggers exist. I can do my best to be a good mother while knowing that they can’t reasonably blame me for the fact that they’re alive. And yes, I spent years blaming my mother for bringing me into this terrible world.  I’ve gotten over it, but I wouldn’t want anyone else hating me for giving birth to them.

It feels good to be choosing barrenness.  To be deliberate about this thing, even though it makes me sad. I’m sure I’ll mourn my fertility, but I’m fairly certain that I will never think that it was a mistake to take myself out of the gene pool. I think the kindest thing I can do for my babies is not give birth to them at all. That sounds really pessimistic, but it’s kind of empowering, too.

 

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